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and there is not cross reactivity for vaccines between these strains. This means that vaccinating for one strain provides no protection for the other strains. In the past, there were two strains of leptospira that where commonly included in vaccines for the disease. These strains are no longer commonly diagnosed in dogs. However, several other strains of leptospira are now more frequently diagnosed and vaccines for two of these new strains where developed in the last few years. Problems with the older leptospira vaccines included a short duration of immunity, six months or less, and a comparatively high incidence of vaccine reactions. Duration of immunity data is not available for the two newer strains of leptospira vaccine. Dogs acquire leptospira infection by drinking water contaminated by the urine of infected animals (commonly raccoons, skunks, opossums, cattle, swine, and some rodents) - or less commonly by direct exposure to an infected animals urine or carcass. Leptospiral organisms cause acute, severe, life threatening disease in dogs. Hunting dogs, which spend a large amount of time in the same environment of many of the animals which can spread leptospira, are likely at increased risk of exposure to this disease. Vaccinating them for leptospira strains commonly found in the areas where these dogs live and hunt seems warranted. However, the short term immunity provided by many leptospiral vaccines and the high incidence of vaccine reactions makes the benefits of leptospiral vaccination very questionable. Again, educate yourself and consult your veterinarian when making this decision.

Three vaccines were listed as "not recommended" in the American Animal Hospital Association report: corona virus, canine adenovirus type 1, and Giardia vaccines.

Canine corona virus is a very mild intestinal virus that, at worst, causes a mild case of vomiting and/or diarrhea that resolves without treatment in a short time. Vaccinating for such a mild self-limiting disease is not necessary. Canine adenovirus type 1 vaccine can cause a condition called "blue eye", a bluish gray opacity of the dogs eye which can affect vision. This is a potentially serious and unacceptable side effect. Especially given that the adenovirus type 2 vaccine, which is one of the core vaccines, provides cross-protection for both diseases. That means the type 2 vaccine provides protection for both canine adenovirus type 1 and type 2 infections. Unfortunately, some vaccines with canine adenovirus type 1 are still produced in this country. Make sure your dog does not receive this vaccine.

The Giardia vaccine has not been proven to prevent infection with the disease; it only reduces shedding of the organism. This is also a non-life threatening treatable disease.

The information in this article should help educate dog owners in regards to the recent changes in canine vaccination protocols. The previous standard of yearly booster vaccinations with all available vaccines is no longer the accepted standard of practice in veterinary medicine. Like all changes of long established practices, this process takes time but

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